Archive for January, 2011

How to anchor a marquee

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Modern marquees can be erected on any surface, they can even go over swimming pools with spectacular results. But marquees are essentially strong boxes and you need to anchor them down to make sure they don’t go anywhere.

Keep in mind that marquees are better at resisting strong winds with the sides on, taking the sides off effectively leaves you with a large umbrella which needs a lot more anchoring down.

On soft surfaces:

  • Use tie downs with ratchet straps attaching to the eaves of the marquees pulling down to marquee stakes.
  • If it is a sheltered location then just using the marquee stakes through/over footplates is usually sufficient

On hard standing:

  • If there is soft ground nearby or other strong anchoring points (fence posts for eg) then use longer tie downs to these points
  • If long tie downs aren’t possible then you must use heavy weights: concrete blocks, sand bags, a vehicle (if a marquee was only up for a few hours we’d use one of our vans) or water butts (assuming you have access to a hosepipe to fill them up on site)
  • Strap the heavy weights to the marquee. Avoid setting them back and using tie downs as the weights might get dragged towards the marquee slackening the tie down and allowing the marquee to move.

If in doubt put more weights/tie downs on.

Thanks for reading


Marquee electrical leads

Monday, January 24th, 2011

As readers of the marquee forum will already know there’s been some debate about the type of electrical leads we should be using in the marquee industry.

Essential Supplies kindly forward this article to me recently which discusses several marquee related issues but the main bit of interest for me was this:

“The [arctic] cable can often be seen supplying caravans or used at live musical events, it can even be purchased from DIY shops in the form of a ready made extension reel with BS 1363 13 A accessories for use at 230 V 1Ø. As can be seen from Table 7B of BS 7540, the cable was not designed for and is not suitable for these purposes.”

My understanding of this is that despite their wide spread use arctic cables shouldn’t really be used for temporary installations in marquees. Instead we should be using HO7 RNF cable instead (much more expensive).

In my eyes that doesn’t mean we should replace all of the arctic cable we currently use but when it comes to ordering new/replacements we should then go over to HO7.  Like everything on here this is just my opinion and it’s a judgement call for you to make yourself, I just think it’s worth highlighting to people.

Thanks for reading


New marquee layout planner

Monday, January 17th, 2011

The eagle eyed among you will have noticed some changes to our marquee layout planner. It’s a useful tool for looking at different options for laying out marquees and I made some improvements before Christmas:

  • Different sizes: Every size marquee we offer is now on there in a nice compact layout
  • Different orientation: Each size is available in portrait or landscape. Marquees at funny angles (anything other than 90degrees) are to be avoided, they are impossible to securely weather proof
  • You can decide on different backgrounds: lawn, car park or snow. Okay, not hugely practical but a fun thing to have 🙂

If you can think of other features or scenery that would be useful to have on there let me know.

If you want to use the planner on your own website (complete with your own name at the bottom) then contact me, we’re considering licensing it out.

Thanks for reading (and thanks to everyone who sent me well wishes, life is just about back to normal now)


New Marquees for sale

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I hope you had a nice Xmas & New Year, now it’s time to get back to work.

As mentioned previously this blog is mainly about offering advice any way I can but occasionally I have to mention some salesy stuff as, well, that pays the bills!

So we’ve introduced some new sizes of marquees for sale: 4x6m and 4x12m to add to our 4x8m and 4x10m marquees. The end panels are made up of two 2m wide panels which means they are completely interchangeable with the windows – nice huh? You can just ask the customer where they would like windows/walls and accommodate them.

We’ll also be introducing some other new products over the next few months all aimed at helping you and your customers.

Thanks for reading